Should You "Entertain" Kids at Church? (my response)

I sometimes hear people in Children's Ministry say they don't believe in "entertaining" children at church.

I understand what they're saying.  They don't believe we should spend the small window of time we have doing things that do not directly teach kids to love God and His Word.

I agree...if that is your definition of entertainment at church.  Entertainment for entertainment sake alone is not what we are called to do.  Kids can be "entertained" at Disney World or at a movie or at home in front of a video game.

I think a word that better fits what we are should be doing is...engagement.  We want to see kids engaged in God's Word.

Kids should be entertained at church if the goal of the "entertainment" is to capture their attention and engage them with God's Word.

Let's make this simple and easy to understand.  We have the most important message in the world.  We must engage kids with it.  To do this, we must capture their attention.

"How" you capture their attention is not main issue.  If what you are doing is engaging kids and capturing their attention, then I'm all for it.  If that's a video, game, craft, drama, story, flannel-graph or whatever...then keep it up.

But...if what you are doing is boring kids to death and causing them to dread coming to church, then you should change and start "entertaining" them. entertaining I mean engaging.

I will say this.  Make sure you are using methods that connect with today's kids.  If you're still trying to teach kids the same way they did in 1960, then you may want to make some changes.  These are the kids of 2014...not the kids of 1960.

I think the criticism about "entertaining kids" usually comes from someone who sees people using different methods of engaging kids than they are using.  If it's not the way they do it, then it must just be "entertainment."

Entertaining and engaging...when it comes down to it these two words mean the same thing in my opinion.  Whatever you call what you are doing with kids, just make sure it's working.

Okay.  Your turn.  What are your thoughts about "entertaining" kids at church?  Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.